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Russian diplomat: Montenegro elections results show split in society over NATO membership

October 18, 16:42 UTC+3
According to the Center for Democratic Transition, the ruling Democratic Party of Socialists led by Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic won the parliamentary election securing 41.1% of votes
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MOSCOW, October 18. /TASS/. The results of Montenegro’s parliamentary elections held on October 16 have revealed a deep division in society on the issue of the country’s accession to NATO, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Tuesday.

"In general, the results of the parliamentary elections held on October 16 have again demonstrated a deep rift in Montenegro’s society on an array of issues, primarily on that Balkan country’s foreign policy and the prospects for its accession to NATO," the diplomat said. "We hope that the new legislative and executive governing bodies will heed the opinion of the Montenegrin people. Almost half of the voters cast their ballots for those parties favoring a referendum on the issue."

"An essential point: a report by the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights points to restrictions on freedom of expression in the Montenegrin media, which affected voters’ access to analytical information," the diplomat noted.

Zakharova also focused on a joint statement made by a number of Montenegro’s parties, which, according to preliminary data, secured a total of 39 mandates, regarding non-recognition of the election results due to reports about the arrest of several persons suspected of preparing a coup on the eve of election day. "We proceed from the fact that this episode should be investigated thoroughly and transparently," she stated.

According to the Center for Democratic Transition, which counted the votes at the Montenegro elections, the ruling Democratic Party of Socialists led by Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic has secured 41.1% of votes (35 seats in the parliament, which consists of 81 members). The opposition Democratic Front has secured 20.6% of votes (18 mandates), while the Key moderate opposition coalition has 10.7% of votes (9 seats in parliament). Voter turnout came to 73.2%.

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